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Poster: Archfilm Date: May 1, 2013 12:07pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Copyright status on "Freaks"

http://www.archive.org/details/freaks1932

Monthd ago, I posted that the 1932 film "Freaks" was not in the public domain, despite it being on this site. The post was ignored, and I assume that was because of my lack of a valid reason. Now, I will go into detail as to why it should be removed.

Here are previous posts about the matter.
http://www.archive.org/post/384655/freaks
http://www.archive.org/post/202268/freaks-is-not-in-the-public-domain
http://archive.org/post/341253/100-movies-in-the-public-domain

I understand that, through the posts, someone claimed that Dwain Esper (who also handled "Reefer Madness") bought the rights to the film so he could distribute it himself. The copyrights to the films Esper owned were not renewed.

But is it possible that MGM licensed the film to Esper? I am assuming because of the registration that I had attached to this post. According to the registration, "Freaks" was RENEWED in 1959 by "Loew's, Inc." Loew's was the parent company of MGM, and the copyright claimant on films made by the studio from the mid-1930s until the early 1960s.

I also attached an image of the title card, which contains a valid notice. It's small, but I could make out that the film was copyrighted by MGM in 1932.

And another thing, if this film is PD, there would have been a heavy saturation of unauthorized video releases. There have been very few, one VHS and two laserdiscs by MGM/UA, and a couple DVD releases by Turner/WB (who currently distributes the older MGM titles).

I have nothing else to say. I rest my case. Anybody who has a valid explanation as why it can stay can reply here.

This post was modified by Archfilm on 2013-05-01 19:07:19

Attachment: freaks1932.jpg
Attachment: freaks_renewed.png

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Poster: PDpolice Date: May 1, 2013 1:21pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Copyright status on 'Freaks'

Hey, where you been?
Still trying to have unfounded copyright claims lodged against the archive? Is that xoryx character with you, or are you him?
Just so you know, I mistakenly posted a copyrighted file here a few months ago and it was removed almost immediately. No fuss, no notices, no recriminations and it was my error to have done so. They seem to play fair.
So ease up with the verbose attempts to punish these guys.

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Poster: larus Date: May 8, 2013 3:50am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Copyright status on 'Freaks'

If you're confident something is not in the public domain, you need to create a post entitled "please remove (not PD)" or something along these lines. Administrators/curators don't read every single message, but messages with such titles tend to get their attention.
You should also include a link to the item and state your reasons.

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Poster: ucla1960 Date: Jun 5, 2013 10:38pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Copyright status on 'Freaks'

Suck a bag of dicks , dick.

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Poster: spacegod Date: May 28, 2013 5:58pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Copyright status on 'Freaks'

Hmmm. Archfilm: do you own the copyright? Are you a lawyer for Freaks? If not, then why do you want to play hall monitor?
Just wondering.

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Poster: Archfilm Date: May 28, 2013 6:25pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Copyright status on 'Freaks'

Are you kidding? I've never registered a copyright in my life, and never set foot in a law school! Why are you making such silly conspiracy theories?

I realize it all now...you guys just don't WANT this movie taken down! You're just playing me up as a hypocrite to justify keeping this movie here even though there's CLEAR EVIDENCE that it's copyrighted! I just don't want this website to be threatened with a cease-and-desist letter and you're playing me up as working for the studio!

Well fine! Keep your movie! I've had it with you people. I quit! Farewell for good!

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Poster: spacegod Date: May 28, 2013 7:42pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Copyright status on 'Freaks'

I am new to this thread. No conspiracy theories, no accusations of you being from the studio--just wondering why you want to destroy everyone's pleasure by making a big deal out of Freaks. Especially if you have no personal interest in it.

Thank you. Sorry to see you go.
Please learn to enjoy your life.

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Poster: Hg80 Date: Nov 23, 2011 6:28pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Copyright status on 'Freaks'

This issue with Browning's "Freaks" is a curious one. If you delve into the history of the film some curious and salient issues emerge involving MGM and the cultural aversion to the film. MGM was not happy with the film and even on no less that three attempts altered the ending on test audiences. A studio's disapproval is strike one. Box office receipts were dismal and the film was banned in several foreign countries. Loss of revenue was strike two. The fact that "Freaks" did not fit the typical genre of horror films but dealt with reality of deformed human beings did not set well with theater goers. A social misfit itself was strike three. The film disappeared and only sporadically surfaced in art houses and with the likes of Dwain Esper [another Kroger Babb] an exploitation pioneer. More than likely Dwain Esper acquired exhibition rights and not ownership rights.

This is just another example of copyright confusion.

Interesting to note that the film was shown at the, I think, 1963 Cannes Film Festival with much success...a different generation and a new perspective have certainly changed its popularity.

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Poster: Archfilm Date: May 1, 2013 11:07am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Copyright status on 'Freaks'

There are sources that claim that Esper solely owned distribution rights.

"When MGM shelved 'Freaks,' it gave a twenty-five-year license on the film to Dwain Esper," and that the rights later reverted to MGM ("Cutting Edge: Art-horror and the Horrific Avant-garde" by Joan Hawkins, p. 146).

"For years, [MGM] leased the film out to subdistributors like Dwain Esper" ("America's Film Legacy: The Authoritative Guide to the Landmark Movies in the National Film Registry Daniel Eagan, p. 191).

TCM's website also claims that MGM licensed the film to Esper (http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/163/Freaks/articles.html).

There are many legit sources on the web (non-Wikipedia) that Loew's Inc., which renewed the copyright in 1959, was the parent company of MGM.


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Poster: tristero Date: Nov 23, 2011 6:52pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Copyright status on 'Freaks'

For anyone who's interested, the short story the film is based on - "Spurs", by Tod Robbins - was recently reprinted in the anthology Best American Noir of the Century, edited by Otto Penzler and James Ellroy. It's a good story and worth checking out, especially if you're a fan of the film.

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Poster: Hg80 Date: Nov 23, 2011 7:08pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Copyright status on 'Freaks'

Tod Robbins' "Spurs"

http://www.olgabaclanova.com/spurs.htm

"Freaks" script

http://www.paradiselost.org/freaks.html

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Poster: Hg80 Date: Nov 23, 2011 7:47pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Copyright status on 'Freaks'

Of interest on the endings I mentioned...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQ5ZxlqOou8&;feature=related

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Poster: Moongleam Date: May 1, 2013 6:36pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Copyright status on 'Freaks'

The copyright was renewed in 1959.

FREAKS, a photoplay in seven reels by
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distributing
Corp. (C) 23Feb32; L287O. Loew's,
Inc. (PWH); 2Mar59; R232434.

Unpopularity and unprofitability have no effect on copyright status.

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Poster: moviesearcher Date: May 2, 2013 3:17pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Copyright status on 'Freaks'

Wouldn't that make this renewal 1 month late and therefore Public Domain?

This post was modified by moviesearcher on 2013-05-02 22:17:38

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Poster: larus Date: May 8, 2013 3:38am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Copyright status on 'Freaks'

With a registration date of 23 Feb 1932, the 28th anniversary year renewal window would run from 23 Feb 1959 (1932+27) to 23 Feb 1960 (1932+28). 2 March 1959 falls right inside this window.

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Poster: katieq Date: May 7, 2013 2:11am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Copyright status on 'Freaks'

i think you have something moviesearcher

last day it could have been renewed would have been feb 23rd 1959 and it plainly says march 2nd 59

sounds like a late renewal to me?

Katieq